What I’ve learned from my Fitbit

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, October 8, 2016

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Walking is harder than it looks.

It’s not that I don’t know how or dislike it; my daily routine just doesn’t present many opportunities to do it.

I already knew this about my lifestyle, but I managed to justify my inactivity with a myriad of excuses that included commitments to my family, work and volunteering.

Then I got a Fitbit. Folks, the numbers don’t lie.

Kristen Tribe

Kristen Tribe

If you’re not familiar with this gadget, it’s worn like a watch and measures how many steps I take in a day as well as the total number of “active minutes.” With the help of an accompanying app, my Fitbit also tracks my calorie and water intake, weight, exercise and quality of sleep.

I got the Fitbit in April, and it didn’t take long to realize I was failing miserably at being mobile.

On press days, when we’re on deadline and I’m tied to my computer, I was barely breaking 2,000 steps. In case you’re wondering, that’s pitiful. The suggested number of steps to promote a healthy lifestyle is 10,000 per day, which equals about five miles.

Before the Fitbit, it was easy to get wrapped up in work and just not move. But now the cold, hard facts of my sedentary ways flash before me on the screen as the Fitbit issues (with a buzz) an hourly reminder to get up and get going. The goal is at least 250 steps per hour.

You know what else is hard?

Drinking water. I actually drink a decent amount of H2O, but quickly learned that was not enough for the thirsty Fitbit. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s how this thing works. You drink the daily recommended amount of water, and then you have to walk … to the bathroom!

While the Fitbit has definitely made me more aware of my daily calorie intake and activity level, I can’t say I’ve made many changes yet. I’ve started walking more in the evening and have made a more concerted effort to move periodically during the day, but that’s about it.

Some might say I’m a pretender … wearing the Fitbit makes me “look” like I’m health conscious when in reality, I occasionally still scarf down Pop-Tarts. But no more.

It’s time to take action. I’m not sure exactly what that looks like, but I’m ready to burn up this Fitbit on the road to a healthier existence.

Speaking of which, my hour’s almost up – I have 10 minutes to squeeze in 182 more steps!

Kristen Tribe is editor of the Messenger. As of press time, she had walked only 3,693 steps Friday.

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